The following stories have been hand-selected by the Assignment Desk at News4:
VANDALS STEAL FROM KIDS
Usually weekends are times of joy and fun for the Southeast Pee Wee football team, the Benning Terrace Soldiers. But this was a much different Saturday. Players and coaches woke up to a destroyed team office. Their jerseys were gone. Their helmets, training equipment, trophies and even the ovens used to make cookies for fundraisers were covered in spray paint. “They pushed the Plexiglas here, stuck their hand in, turned the knob and opened the door,” Soldiers coach Curtis “Peedy” Monroe said. “It really hurts. Especially when you’re doing something positive. And you see this, this is like a brick dropped on you or something.” Outside, a literal brick was dropped on the team van, busting the windshield. The tires were slashed, and again spray paint covered the outside of the van. Players are worried that the attack will mean that some of them won’t be able to play.
MOTHER'S DAY SPENDING UP
The floral showroom at Severna Flowers and Gifts was quiet Friday afternoon, with a few customers perusing refrigerated tubs of tulips, peonies, roses and lilies. But behind the counter, business was bustling at the Severna Park shop. Frenzied florists quickly and carefully arranged colorful bouquets into sparkling vases. The floor was covered with cut stems. The air was thick with the smell of fresh blooms. Store owner Bill Dyott grabbed a pair of shears and began tearing a cardboard box in half. "Business has been very steady," he said, with no time to even look up. Consumer confidence is the highest it has been in more than a year, meaning moms are more likely to luck out in the Mother's Day gift department today.
MORE DIVERSITY IN THE 'BURBS
Ozzie and Harriet, R.I.P. The idealized vision of suburbia as a homogenous landscape of prosperity built around the nuclear family took another hit over the past decade, as suburbs became home to more poor people, immigrants, minorities, senior citizens and households with no children, according to a Brookings Institution report to be released Sunday. Although the suburbs remain a destination of choice for families with children, nuclear families are outnumbered. Nationwide, 21 percent of American families are composed of married couples with children. Their ranks declined in more than half of the suburbs, including those surrounding Washington. Even in fast-growing Loudoun County, only 36 percent of households were married couples with children, census data show. In Fairfax County, it was 27 percent; Montgomery County, 26 percent; and Prince George's County, 18 percent.
SORORITY HOUSE FIRE
A fire broke out on the third floor of the Kappa Kappa Gamma townhouse Saturday afternoon, with smoke and flames visible from the ground on 23rd Street, according to eyewitness reports. Deputy Fire Chief Timothy Gerhart confirmed the fire started in room 301 at approximately 4:40 p.m. The fire was contained to one room, no one was injured, and it was extinguished within three or four minutes, Gerhart said. Burning notebooks and papers were thrown out of the third floor window, which firefighters broke in order to expel the burning material. The smoldering papers scattered across 23rd Street, but Gerhart said the cause of the fire is still unknown. University spokeswoman Candace Smith said one student in the room where the fire was located had already left for the semester. The other student will stay with friends until repairs are made to the room.
(THE GW HATCHET)
FIVE MILLION DOLLAR SCRATCH-OFF
A lucky delivery truck driver has once again hit the lottery. Three and a half years after winning $150,000 on a Pick 4 drawing, Karl Hartman of Chesterfield has won $5 million on a Virginia Lottery scratch-off ticket. Hartman was the first player in state history to win $5 million on a scratcher ticket after claiming the top prize in Virginia's $5 million Club game on Friday. Four $5 million tickets remain unclaimed. Hartman chose the immediate cash option of $3.2 million instead of receiving the full cash prize over 25 years.